Bells of Capistrano

Overview

In his final film before entering war service, Gene Autry joins the World Wide Wild West Show, a faltering enterprise about to be taken over by the more powerful Johnson Bros. Rodeo, and his success as the Singing Bronco Buster allows the show to open at San Capistrano instead of the rival outfit. Stag Johnson (Morgan Conway), who is sweet on World Wide's owner Jennifer Benton (Virginia Grey), is inclined to leave things as they are but brother Jed (Tristram Coffin) and jealous show girl Jackie Laval (Marla ...
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Overview

In his final film before entering war service, Gene Autry joins the World Wide Wild West Show, a faltering enterprise about to be taken over by the more powerful Johnson Bros. Rodeo, and his success as the Singing Bronco Buster allows the show to open at San Capistrano instead of the rival outfit. Stag Johnson (Morgan Conway), who is sweet on World Wide's owner Jennifer Benton (Virginia Grey), is inclined to leave things as they are but brother Jed (Tristram Coffin) and jealous show girl Jackie Laval (Marla Shelton) do what they can to sabotage the competition, including forcing Mom (Claire DuBrey) and Pop McCracken (Lucien Littlefield), Jennifer's foster-parents, off the road. Gene at first blames himself for all the troubles but then joins sidekicks Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) and Tadpole (Joe Stracuh, Jr.) in battling the increasingly desperate Johnson brothers. When not rescuing the heroine from runaway buckboards and other such Wild West shenanigans, Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Joe Strauch, Jr. and company perform "In Old Capistrano," "At Sundown," "Forgive Me," "Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You," and "Fort Worth Jail." According to some reports, Bells of Capistrano), which was produced on an impressive budget of $500,000, employed two camera crews in order to finish principal photography prior to Autry's induction into the Army Air Force. Gene Autry Entertainment restored the film to its original length in 2001.
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Special Features

Reminiscing with Gene Autry and Pat Buttram and the "Melody Ranch Theater"; Excerpts from the original "Melody Ranch Radio Show"; Production and publicity stills; Original press kit material; Poster and lobby card art; Trivia and movie facts
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Gene Autry certainly left Republic Pictures on a high note and the studio knew they had a winner. The songs, which have been restored to the film after years of crude television edits, are fine and Autry is his usual laid-back self. But most of the fun is actually provided by the supporting cast, which includes such rare visitors to the range as Virginia Grey, borrowed for the occasion from M-G-M, future Dick Tracy star Morgan Conway and silent screen femme fatale Claire DuBrey. The latter appears here in tandem with another veteran, Lucien Littlefield), and together they make a marvelously funny team, both performers rather obviously basing their characters after Showboat's Cap'n Andy and his indomitable wife, Parthy Hawks.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/29/2003
  • UPC: 014381398922
  • Original Release: 1942
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:13:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gene Autry Gene
Smiley Burnette Frog Millhouse
Virginia Grey Jennifer Benton
Lucien Littlefield Pa McCracker
Morgan Conway Stag Johnson
Claire Du Brey Ma McCracken
Charles Cane Tex
Joe Strauch Jr. Tadpole Millhouse
Marla Shelton Jackie Laval
Tristram Coffin Jed Johnson
Eddie Acuff Sign Poster
Al Bridge Jake
Champion (The Horse) Himself
Jay Novello Jenkins
William Forrest Durgan
Ed Jauregui Brady
Guy Usher Sheriff
Ralph Peters Deputy
Ken Christy Deputy
Dick Wessel Sign poster
Howard Hickman Doctor
Chick Hannon Bar guest
Julian Rivero Fiesta manager
Peggy Satterlee Grand marshal
Jack O'Shea Rodeo hand
Frankie Marvin Rodeo hand
Ray Jones Rodeo hand
William Telaak Milkman
William A. Kellogg Henchman
Joe McGuinn Roustabout
Technical Credits
William Morgan Director
Milton Ager Score Composer, Songwriter
Jerry Charleston Score Composer, Songwriter
Walter Donaldson Score Composer, Songwriter
Harry Grey Producer
Thomas Holer Score Composer, Songwriter
Lawrence Kimble Screenwriter
Reggie Lanning Cinematographer
Edward Mann Editor
Sol Meyer Score Composer, Songwriter
Jimmie Morgan Score Composer, Songwriter
Morton Scott Musical Direction/Supervision
Fred Stryker Score Composer, Songwriter
Jack Yellen Score Composer, Songwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title: A Lesson in Pasting [6:29]
2. Forgive Me [2:04]
3. Jailhouse Audition [4:11]
4. Testing the Waters [5:55]
5. Eating Up the Competition [2:34]
6. At Sundown [1:09]
7. Stag Johnson [2:50]
8. A Worldwide Problem [2:26]
9. Fort Worth Jail [1:34]
10. A Hard Bargain [4:41]
11. Playing Rough [4:48]
12. A Change of Heart [3:52]
13. True Colors [7:03]
14. Waiting for a Streetcar [1:52]
15. Fiesta [3:05]
16. In Old Capistrano [2:03]
17. Rodeo del Fuego [1:46]
18. Plenty Tough [10:24]
19. Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You [3:50]
20. End Credits [:32]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Scene Selections
   Feature Start
   Special Features
      Reminiscing with Gene Autry and Pat Buttram at the Melody Ranch Theater
      "Don't Touch That Dial! Gene Autry Is on the Air!"
      Horseplay!
         Flight Officer Gene Autry
         Trivia and Movie Facts from Flying A Pictures Vice President Alex Gordon
         Autry Museum of Western Heritage: Your Window into the Past
      Production and Publicity Stills
      Production Notes
      Poster Art and Lobby Cards
      Original Press Kit Material
      Also Available on DVD
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